Angry remarks come after top Scottish court rules parliament suspension “unlawful.”
A leading UK trade union boss warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “citizen’s arrest” for suspending the parliament ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.
Len McCluskey, head of the Labour party’s largest affiliated trade union UNITE, made the comments after a Scottish court ruled the recess decision “unlawful.”
The angry remarks by McCluskey come amid a series of assaults on prominent pro-Brexit and right-wing figures.
Earlier this year, Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, Islam critic Tommy Robinson, and other prominent leaders faced attacks by far-left activists. The leftist assailants were lauded and cheered by the British Liberal commentators and Brexit opponents. Johnson and members of his cabinet have also faced hostile agitators on the streets as the UK heads towards Brexit.
British newspaper The Independent covered the remarks made by McCluskey and other union bosses :
Boris Johnson has been warned he could face a “citizen’s arrest” by a senior union boss after the prime minister’s decision to suspend parliament was ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest court. (…) Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, told Sky News: “It is quite extraordinary what the Scottish courts have ruled.
“My advice to the prime minister is don’t go up to Scotland, you’re liable to face a citizen’s arrest, so he’d best keep in his bunker somewhere in either Eton or Westminster.” (…)
TSSA [transport workers’ union] leader Manuel Cortes, who backs a second referendum, said the “shameful” prime minister should be behind bars, rather than in Downing Street.
Underrated by today’s judicial ruling, the UK government has vowed to challenge decision handed down by Scotland’s highest appeals court.
“We are disappointed by today’s decision, and will appeal to the UK Supreme Court,” the UK Prime Minister’s office said in response to the judgment. Johnson’s aides also questioned the impartiality of Scottish judges, calling them ‘politically biased, the British Daily Telegraph reported.
The Brexiteers face not only a rigged political system but also a biased judiciary, Telegraph columnist John Longworth suggested. “The Scottish court prorogation ruling shows the anti-Brexit Establishment is hard at work,” Longworth wrote following the Scottish ruling. The “British Establishment” is very apt at “keeping a grip on their privilege,” he added.
The Irish Times reported today’s court judgment:
Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful.
The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the UK prime minister’s political decision to prorogue parliament.
The judges said the prorogation was “improper” and done with “the purpose of stymying parliament”. It was therefore “null and of no effect”.
Lawyers acting for 75 opposition MPs and peers argued Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was illegal and in breach of the constitution, as it was designed to stifle parliamentary debate and action on Brexit.
There are still signs that the European Union might blink if Johnson sticks to the October 31 deadline.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted that Brussels might offer Britain a deal even at the last minute. “We still have every chance of getting an orderly (Brexit) and the German government will do everything it can to make that possible – right up to the last day. But I also say we are prepared for a disorderly Brexit,” Mrs. Merkel told the German parliament today.
The British parliament has voted to delay Brexit if the EU fails to agree to a deal before the October 31 deadline. Johnson called the legislation passed by the parliament a “surrender” document and vowed to push for a no-deal Brexit — if all fails.
“It’s Jeremy Corbyn’s surrender bill,” Johnson declared in the House of Commons on Tuesday. “It means running up the white flag, and I want to make clear to everybody in this house there are no circumstances in which I will accept anything like it.” He reiterated that: the UK “will leave on October 31 in all circumstances. There will be no further pointless delays.”
Johnson’s motion calling for a snap election in mid-October failed to get the required two-thirds majority before the parliament entered a five-week suspension on Monday. The opposition Labour party has threatened a no-confidence vote to oust Johnson’s two-month-old government when the House reconvenes on October 14.
If the Labour party manages to topple the government, this could pave the way for a Corbyn-led caretaker government or force an early election.
Johnson and his Conservatives appear unprepared to face a general election at this time. The Conservative base has shifted markedly towards Nigel Farage’s newly-formed Brexit Party, as the outcome of the May 2019 EU elections showed.
Farage’s offer to “put country before party” and withdraw all Brexit Party candidates in favor of Tory contestants has gone unanswered by the Conservative leadership. The Conservative establishment despises Farage’s brand of “populism” and his working-class support base. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the prospect of an election pact with Brexit Party is “dead in the water.” The Conservative elite does not view Farage as a “fit and proper person” to agree with on government issues.
This elitist snobbery on the Right might prove fatal if the Conservative party decided to go it alone in the next elections. After three years of fruitless deliberations, the ruling Conservatives have miserably failed at delivering Brexit, thus losing the trust of their political base. Only a united Right has a fighting chance against the broad-based Left-Liberal alliance rallying under the EU’s banner.
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